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TTC cancels plans to close parts of the subway system for as many as 100 weekends

According to a TTC news release, the transit agency has cancelled its plans to close parts of the subway network for as many as 100 weekends due to recent series of ten-day subway closures. It has also eliminated the need for trains to bypass Museum and Queen’s Park stations for as long as two years.

Last month, the TTC completed its third 10-day closure on part of Line 1 Yonge - University subway between St George and St Andrew stations. Closing this section of Line 1 for ten days allowed the TTC to take advantage of ongoing low ridership and make significant progress on critical state-of-good repair work.

In the news release, the TTC explains, “With the completion of this series of closures, TTC commuters can now look forward to significantly reduced early access, weekend and platform closures. [Passengers] who were surveyed while travelling through the area during the closures reported overwhelming support for the TTC’s innovative approach to completing the work quickly and reducing inconvenience.”

The TTC removed and replaced about 4,090 square metres (44,000 square feet) of ceilings in stations during the three 10-day closures in March, April and May. It also repaired the flooring at Museum, Queen’s Park and Osgoode stations.

During the most recent closure, the TTC removed asbestos from the southbound platforms of St Patrick and Queen’s Park stations, which completes its project to eliminate asbestos in this area. During March and April closures, crews removed asbestos from the northbound platforms of those stations.

The TTC also installed higher-capacity traction power cables and removed old cables. Crews also installed new communication infrastructure, including more train-door monitoring conduits at Osgoode and Museum stations. (The transit agency says the conduits support “future OPTO implementation.” OPTO refers to the TTC’s controversial one-person train operation plan.)

“By doing this work while ridership is low, we’ve been able to spare our customers years of disruption and inconvenience,” said the TTC’s chief executive officer, Rick Leary. “I’m very pleased that we were able to accomplish this much in a relatively short period of time - we’ve done approximately 18 months of work in 30 days. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work, and thank our customers for their patience.”

Since it completed these projects ahead of schedule, the TTC can proceed with refinishing and modernizing the station platforms. It expects to tender a contract later this year for that work to proceed in 2022.

The TTC shut down the section of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations three times:

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